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Christian Tractatus

(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)


A principle that will assist us in defining ethical strategies is that of reflexivity. That is, that we should not (in general) do to others what we would not have them do to us.

  1. I believe this statement to be true because (as a contingent fact) we share a large number of needs and goals with other people.
  2. This is the negative version of the Golden Rule ("do to others as you would have them do to you"). My objections to the general application of the Golden Rule are two-fold1.
  3. A neglect of the Golden Rule, but general acceptance of its negative counterpart, may be seen as enlightened self-interest. The Golden Rule aims at equality in society and actively aims at "doing good". On the other hand, the negative version only seeks to avoid oppression. Consequently, while it may avoid the ruthless exploitation of one's abilities at the expense of others, it does not command the expenditure of one's talents in their favour.
  4. It is to be noted, nonetheless, that a judicious application of the Golden Rule is not proscribed by the system of ethics I am proposing. It is optional and to be encouraged, but not normative.




Note last updated Reference for this Topic Parent Topic
12/08/2007 10:17:46 433 (Non-theistic Ethics - Reflexivity) Non-theistic Ethics

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Non-theistic Ethics - Reflexivity - Golden Rule        

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Non-theistic Ethics        

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